Peter Sagan crossed the line first at the head of the sprinting peloton. But that was 13 seconds after stage winner Evan Huffman (Rally Cycling) crossed the line on a day where the peloton misjudged the catch by the narrowest of margins. Huffman’s teammate Rob Britton was second, with fellow breakaway rider Lennard Hofstede (Sunweb) in third. The overall standings remained unchanged, with Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) still holding a narrow two second advantage over George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo), with Ian Boswell (Sky) in third.
 
 
The 160 kilometre stage from Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita was likely to be an interesting one, with two category two and two category three climbs along the way making a field sprint a less foregone conclusion than on the previous stage. However, with a fairly straight forward run in to the finish once the final climb was out of the way, the sprinters’ teams were certain to try and keep things under control. 
 
 
It only took about five kilometres for the break of the day to go up the road, with Rob Britton and Evan Huffman (Rally), Gavin Mannion (United Healthcare), Lennard Hofstede (Sunweb), Mathias Le Turnier (Cofidis), and Martin Elminger (BMC) working together well to build an advantage over the peloton. By the 50 kilometre mark, the sextet held a five minute advantage, and their advantage kept on growing, ballooning out to around nine minutes by the 90 kilometres to go mark. A time gap that big, with more than a minute per ten kilometres of racing left was starting to reach danger territory, but with one last category two climb left, the teams of the sprinters could not yet start pushing the pace too much for fear of dropping the very riders they were working for. By now Elminger had been dropped, and the break was down to five riders, but they were still working together well in order to keep their hopes of a stage win alive. 
 
 
The QuickStep and Katusha teams were putting in some hard work at the front of the peloton, trying to bring Marcel Kittel and Alexander Kristoff respectively to the finish at the head of affairs, and the gap started coming down, but still hovering around the one minute per ten kilometres left to race mark. With 25 kilometres to go, the scales were tipping in favour of the break, as they still held a lead of some three and a half minutes, as at the head of the peloton QuickStep threw everything they had at reducing the gap, with Jack Bauer putting in a big pull to help bring back the break.
 
 
Although the gap kept coming down, the leaders went into the final three kilometres wiht a minute’s advantage over the chasing peloton, which meant that they had a very good chance of contesting the stage win among themselves. Behind, the peloton was chasing furiously, and by the one kilometre to go banner the lead had dropped to a mere 25 seconds, as the peloton was within sight of the break. It was all too late for the peloton though as the Rally Cycling duo of Huffman and Britton made the most of their unexpected luck, taking a one-two on the stage, as behind them all the big sprinters came charging home for the minor placings. 
 
 
In the overall standings it was status quo as Majka retained his two second lead over Bennett, with Boswell in third, a further twelve seconds back. That is likely to change on stage five though, as the peloton faces a much shorter but far more brutal stage, finishing on the slopes of Mt. Baldy. The stage will be all about the riders contesting the general classification, and there could well be a shakeup in the overall standings depending on who manages to find their climbing legs.
 
 
Stage results:
Rank Name Nat. Team   Result
Evan HUFFMAN USA RLY   3:41:52
Robert BRITTON CAN RLY   +0
Lennard HOFSTEDE NED SUN   +0
Mathias LE TURNIER FRA COF   +0
Gavin MANION USA UHC   +0
Peter SAGAN SVK BOH   +13
John DEGENKOLB GER TFS   +13
Marcel KITTEL GER QST   +13
Alexander KRISTOFF NOR KAT   +13
10  Simone CONSONNI ITA UAD   +13
11  Ramon SINKELDAM NED SUN   +13
12  Reinardt JANSE VAN RENSBURG RSA DDD   +13
13  Jonas VAN GENECHTEN BEL COF   +13
14  Geoffrey SOUPE FRA COF   +13
15  Elia VIVIANI ITA SKY   +13
16  Greg HENDERSON NZL UHC   +13
17  Jacob RATHE USA JBC   +13
18  Serghei TVETCOV ROU JBC   +13
19  Rafal MAJKA POL BOH   +13
20  Ruslan TLEUBAYEV KAZ AST   +13
21  Brent BOOKWALTER USA BMC   +13
22  Adam DE VOS CAN RLY   +13
23  Jhonatan RESTREPO VALENCIA COL KAT   +13
24  Sam OOMEN NED SUN   +13
25  Robert GESINK NED TLJ   +13
26  Michael SCHÄR SUI BMC   +13
27  Vegard Stake LAENGEN NOR UAD   +13
28  Javier Alexis ACEVEDO COLLE COL UHC   +13
29  Andrew TALANSKY USA CDT   +13
30  Luis Angel MATE MARDONES ESP COF   +13
31  Charles PLANET FRA TNN   +13
32  George BENNETT NZL TLJ   +13
33  Floris DE TIER BEL TLJ   +13
34  Matteo DAL-CIN CAN RLY   +13
35  Haimar ZUBELDIA AGIRRE ESP TFS   +13
36  Nicolas EDET FRA COF   +13
37  Lachlan MORTON AUS DDD   +13
38  Rick ZABEL GER KAT   +13
39  Enric MAS NICOLAU ESP QST   +13
40  Tao GEOGHEGAN HART GBR SKY   +13
41  Ian BOSWELL USA SKY   +13
42  Samuel SANCHEZ GONZALEZ ESP BMC   +13
43  Maximilian SCHACHMANN GER QST   +13
44  Tiago MACHADO POR KAT   +13
45  Benjamin KING USA DDD   +13
46  Jonathan DIEBBEN GBR SKY   +13
47  Maciej BODNAR POL BOH   +22
48  Matteo TRENTIN ITA QST   +24
49  Pawel POLJANSKI POL BOH   +30
50  Scott THWAITES GBR DDD   +30
51  Jay MCCARTHY AUS BOH   +35
52  Nick DOUGALL RSA DDD   +44
53  Yousef MIRZA BANIHAMMAD UAE UAD   +1:43
54  Joonas HENTTALA FIN TNN   +1:43
55  Javier MEGIAS LEAL ESP TNN   +1:43
56  Stéphane ROSSETTO FRA COF   +1:43
57  David LOPEZ GARCIA ESP SKY   +1:43
58  Tom BOHLI SUI BMC   +1:43
59  Daan OLIVIER NED TLJ   +1:43
60  Nathan BROWN USA CDT   +1:43
61  Kiel REIJNEN USA TFS   +1:43
62  Sepp KUSS USA RLY   +1:43
63  Tanner PUTT USA UHC   +1:43
64  Michal KOLÁR SVK BOH   +1:43
65  Sean BENNETT USA JBC   +1:43
66  Laurens DE VREESE BEL AST   +1:49
67  Roy CURVERS NED SUN   +1:55
68  Joshua BERRY USA JBC   +1:55
69  Alexey VERMEULEN USA TLJ   +1:55
70  Owain DOULL GBR SKY   +1:55
71  Fabio SABATINI ITA QST   +1:55
72  Martin ELMIGER SUI BMC   +2:34
73  Kristijan ÐURASEK CRO UAD   +2:48
74  Marko KUMP SLO UAD   +2:48
75  Nils POLITT GER KAT   +3:00
76  Michael MORKOV DEN KAT   +3:00
77  Wouter WIPPERT NED CDT   +3:00
78  Taylor PHINNEY USA CDT   +3:00
79  Guillaume BONNAFOND FRA COF   +3:08
80  Yoann BAGOT FRA COF   +3:13
81  Jordan CHEYNE CAN JBC   +3:21
82  Koen DE KORT NED TFS   +3:27
83  Markel IRIZAR ARANBURU ESP TFS   +3:29
84  Jean-Pierre DRUCKER LUX BMC   +3:29
85  Matti BRESCHEL DEN AST   +3:29
86  Antwan TOLHOEK NED TLJ   +3:29
87  Juraj SAGAN SVK BOH   +3:29
88  Peter KENNAUGH GBR SKY   +3:29
89  Bert-Jan LINDEMAN NED TLJ   +3:32
90  Danny PATE USA RLY   +3:49
91  Johannes FRÖHLINGER GER SUN   +4:04
92  Bernhard EISEL AUT DDD   +5:18
93  Travis MCCABE USA UHC   +5:18
94  Zdenek ŠTYBAR CZE QST   +5:22
95  Jack BAUER NZL QST   +5:22
96  Brendan CANTY AUS CDT   +5:56
97  Artyom ZAKHAROV KAZ AST   +6:22
98  Koen BOUWMAN NED TLJ   +6:22
99  Alberto BETTIOL ITA CDT   +6:22
100  Filippo GANNA ITA UAD   +6:22
101  Mads Würtz SCHMIDT DEN KAT   +7:51
102  Lawson CRADDOCK USA CDT   +10:12
103  Rúben GUERREIRO POR TFS   +10:58
104  Christopher WILLIAMS AUS TNN   +11:53
105  Ulises Alfredo CASTILLO SOTO MEX JBC   +11:53
106  Romain GIOUX FRA TNN   +11:53
107  Andrea PERON ITA TNN   +11:53
108  Ben WOLFE USA JBC   +11:53
109  Floris GERFS NED BMC   +11:53
110  Daniel EATON USA UHC   +11:53
111  Marco MATHIS GER KAT   +11:53
112  Arman KAMYSHEV KAZ AST   +11:53
113  Mike TEUNISSEN NED SUN   +11:53
114  Andrea GUARDINI ITA UAD   +11:53
115  Martijn VERSCHOOR NED TNN   +11:53
116  David LOZANO RIBA ESP TNN   +11:53
117  Erik BASKA SVK BOH   +11:53
118  Tyler FARRAR USA DDD   +11:53
119  GREGORY DANIEL USA TFS   +11:53
120  Mark RENSHAW AUS DDD   +11:53
121  Martin VELITS SVK QST   +11:53
122  Federico ZURLO ITA UAD   +11:53
123  Daniel Alexander JARAMILLO DIEZ COL UHC   +11:53
124  Daniil FOMINYKH KAZ AST   +11:53
125  Miles SCOTSON AUS BMC   +11:53
126  Colin JOYCE USA RLY   +11:53
127  Jonathan CLARKE AUS UHC   +11:53
128  Riccardo MINALI ITA AST   +11:53
129  Truls KORSÆTH NOR AST   +11:53
DSQ Danny VAN POPPEL NED SKY  

 

 

Photo:  Sirotti

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